Sunday, March 14, 2010

Art on Demand (RecyclingTime)

I've been trying (I emphasize trying, here) to work on something for a woman who bought two pieces from my ongoing Transformations Series back in the Fall.  She had originally wanted three, but when she went back to get them, someone had come in and bought the one she wanted.  She didn't like the pieces that were left in the gallery, so the gallery owner put her in touch with me.  I sent her photos of the remaining pieces I had, but none of them were really what she was looking for, and didn't go well with the ones she bought.  So I told her I'd come up some things that might fit the bill, send her some more photos, and hopefully she'd choose one of them.  No problem, right?  Wrong.

I'm finding it more of a challenge than I'd imagined.  For one thing, I usually just make whatever strikes me at the moment, with no particular goal in mind except to make something.  If it fits into the series, fine; if not, fine.  But now I have to limit myself to a specific size, color scheme, and subject matter. She wants something with plants, and the colors need to coordinate well with the other two pieces.

Here are the ones she has:

        Transformation 12

          Transformation 22

So I fiddled around with some things for a couple of weeks, but nothing came of it except some wasted time and considerable frustration.  What to do, what to do?  Time to recycle!  I had some old monotypes in my "scrap works" drawer that I'd been avoiding cutting up for collage, probably because I had harbored some subconscious notion that I'd be able to "fix them", and maybe shouldn't give up on them just yet.  But, being uninspired, and running low on good collage material, I finally said "what the hell" and threw them into the bathtub on Friday.  Yes, I did say the bathtub.  My old pieces have various  mixed media layered onto the monotype surface, and much of it is water based.  I can't get everything off, but after it has soaked for a while, I wipe off as much as I can.

I've come up with one new piece so far; here it is:

    Transformation 41

I think it could use more work, but this is what I have so far.  I have two questions.  One, what else does it need?  And two, does it "go with" the other two?  Thanks, in advance, for your help!


  1. What a dilemma! Artists from time immemorial have had to cater to those who are willing to "pay" to help keep coal in the heatrolla.

    Beethoven dedicated many of his chamber works to certain folks, had to be sure they could PLAY his stuff. And yet, each is SUCH a masterpiece.

    I'm not an artist, just a fiddle player, but I say...let yourself GO, girl--you are very talented, and what you create and finalize will be a masterpiece...

  2. Your pieces are incredible, Sharmon. I was just talking about commissions today and how I don't like them. I'm with you....I like to paint what I feel.
    I'd love this new piece if I were your client. Good luck, my friend!

  3. All three pieces are stunning...if you have to put them together and make them a three some...then I would add more of the beautiful plant/root system into the bottom of the new you do that and even if you can or want to is the question? I wish you the best on isn't easy pleasing beyond your own vision. Let me know how it works out!

  4. I'm entirely too practical and left-to-mid-brained, but I really(!) appreciate your work, and I'll offer my free advice (it's worth every penny paid).

    I see the 3 pieces together as a progression of stages: 41 (seed/hope), then 12 (emergence/birth), then 22 (blooming/actualization). Perhaps if you follow Blue Sky Dreaming's advice with some blue rooty-ness (free advice allows making up words) then maybe it would visually/colorfully/thematically link up. I'm thinking you look at 41 as a prequel, containing hints/hopes of things to come (22).

    Hope this helps - dumb looks are free also, if you need them from me - I have plenty.

  5. Sharmon these are just remarkable and I think you have got it! working smarter for sure!!! xx

  6. these are great suggestions posted thus far and you have three pieces of wonderful work here...yes, it is so odd to try to read a client's mind but if you feel good about what you offer she'll pick up on that vibe...and then 'what the hell' either she adds to her collection or you head back to the bath tub...I love the image of the work being bathed of its past.

    beautiful/delicate yet powerful work as always.

  7. Beautiful transformation series- I love the organic and 'nature' infusion in your work. You have a lovely inspired blog and I have enjoyed my first visit- I look forward to returning!

  8. I have just been to visit the beautiful inclusion of your work on Art very lovely and so well deserved.

  9. Thanks, all, for your great support, encouragement, and suggestions!

    Steve, yes, you are an artist, my friend, of the truest kind. Thanks for your faith.

    Manon- Commissions are difficult, just like buying gifts at Christmas; you have to guess what the person wants. I'm looking at this as a blessing, though, since someone actually wants to buy my work!

    Mary Ann, Thanks for the wonderful suggestion. I agree that it definitely needs something at the bottom; just have to work out exactly what that is.

    Don- You hit the nail right on the head about the progression of the pieces! 41 would be a "prequel"; I see it as the seed falling into the earth. I also think rooty-ness is a perfectly good word, since it expresses exactly what you mean. and since dumb looks are free, I'll take as many as you have on hand.

    Cat, Donna, and Lori- I so much appreciate your positive words!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.